Taking a stand for women
> Screen legend Amitabh Bachchan tackles the disturbing issue of sexual violence in India with his new courtroom drama, Pink, marking a new chapter in his film career
granddaughters this week.
In it, he urged them and all of India’s granddaughters to make their own choices and “don’t let anyone make you believe the length of your skirt is a measure of your character”.
His experiences shooting Pink, which is directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, “became a source of inspiration to write that letter”, Amitabh explained to AFP in his famous, deep baritone voice when asked why he wrote the letter.
It is just the latest milestone in the prolific, decades-long career of this venerable Indian film icon.
Amitabh first shot to stardom in the early 1970s on the back of powerful roles in hits such as Zanjeer and Sholay.
He was dubbed India’s “angry young man” due to his portrayal of violent heroes fighting against an unjust system as Bollywood movies, which had previously been polite romances, added a new aggressive element.
Amitabh quickly became Bollywood’s most internationally-recognised star, managing to avoid typcasting.
He is married to former leading heroine of Hindi cinema Jaya Bhaduri and hosts the Indian version of TV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
His son Abhishek is also an actor, while his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a former Miss World and leading Hindi film actress.
He said one of the biggest changes to India’s century-old Hindi film industry that he had seen over his career was the number of women now working on Bollywood film sets.
“There are a lot of women on set in every department... taking charge of production, camera and administration. These were all jobs that were done by men.
“The only ladies you saw on set were the leading lady and maybe, as her chaperone, her mother,” he said.
Pink will be Amitabh’s third release of the year following crime thrillers Wazir and Te3n and he is clearly revelling in being cast as a troubled elderly male in recent roles.
The actor said it was “wonderful” to work on films where the average age is 25 to 30, and insisted he has no plans to slow down.
“I take whatever comes to me. Fortunately, they are stories that are commensurate with my age so I accept them. I need to work and I am happy to be working,” he said.
“As an actor, I love to be challenged. I love to be put in a different sphere and hope I can tackle it.
“I hope there are still new things out there for me to try.” – AFPRelaxnews